Hey guys, I’ve been doing a lot of writing the past few days, tonight especially. A few months back I wrote the first part of an origin story for my Pathfinder character, the rogue pirate Crowley Bloodborne. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s in the archives for May, you’re going to want to read that part first before you read this new story, which really is a continuation off of the previous origin story, and you get to see how a runaway from the desert became the pirate Crowley Bloodborne, also where he got the monkey from and why it’s special will be answered in this part of the story as well. Well, without further adieu, here’s the second half of the Crowley Bloodborne origin story. Let me know what you guys think, and I’m sure more adventures with this character are on the way.
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The Legend of Crowley Bloodborne Part 2: Beginnings and Endings
Chapter 1: The Second Death of Emir Zavala
I’d been living my new life as Bloodborne for two years now, going from town to town, spreading chaos in my black and red robes, with my flair for the dramatic; no one could ever have thought that the fearsome Bloodborne was merely a 13 year old runaway from the streets of Kelesh. I was honoring Szuriel, the Black Angel of War for giving me a new life, literally by doing her bidding, spread a bit of chaos over here, an assassination there, over the past several months I’d gotten quite good at killing, worst part was, and I started to like it.
Like all good things it came to an end rather abruptly. It was going to be a simple assassination, a military captain, but I let myself get distracted when looking at my target, and saw the woman he was with was my sister Ali, whom I hadn’t seen since I renounced my old life two years prior, and who’d grown into quite a beautiful young woman. Instead of hitting my target I shot the person standing to the right of the Captain. Didn’t catch his name I’m afraid, but my gunshell certainly did. His blood spattered over the Captain, and Ali screamed. She pointed up at my location, and screamed ‘Assassin!’
I tried making an escape for it, but unfortunately for me, the Captain was just about as quick as I was, chased after me blood-spattered and all, I don’t blame the man, I’d have done anything to protect my sister if the tables were turned. As it stands though I was tackled to the ground, and beaten unconscious.
Next thing I know, I’m chained up in a dungeon somewhere, as a bucket of cold water splashes me in my face, bringing me back to the land of the living, once again.
“Wake up, murderer!”
“Ah, good morning my friends…” I look around, trying to assess the situation, trying to find a way out of this.
“Love what you’ve done to the place…very cozy, inviting. The chains on the wall are a nice touch.”
“You shut your mouth murderer! It’s about time we caught you, you’re the one that’s been killing people all across Casmaron the past few years. Blood guy”
I looked at the jailer, offended. I’m trying to spread a legacy of chaos here, and I gave myself a pretty distinct name I thought.
“It’s Bloodborne. as in borne in blood.”
“Bloodborne, blood guy, whatever. According to this girl in the other room says your name is Emir, also the only reason you weren’t executed on the spot by the way, your head’s worth a fine bit of coin.”
“Ali is here?”
“Bring her in.” the jailer exclaimed, and a face I thought I’d never see again, my sister Ali, now a grown woman, but still as beautiful as I remembered her.
“Emir…is that you? Bless the stars it is you!” She ran over and hugged me, a little too tight for having broken ribs.
“Owowowowow….I missed you too sis, but can you lay off the ribs? I kind of got my ass kicked on the way over here.”
SMACK!, I felt her slap me right across the face, not that I could do anything about it what with my arms being in chained of course.
“What happened to you? You’re a murderer now?! We were all worried about you, and you turn out to be nothing but a common killer?!”
“Common? Really? And yes, I am a killer now, this is my life now, I was given a new lease on life by the Horseman Szuriel, and this is what I do now, a killer borne of blood, Bloodbo..”
“Shut up Emir….you’ve been out in the desert far too long. Now, let’s get you cleaned up and get you out of here, we’re going home.”
“Just like that…like the jailer said, I’m a highly valued killer, worth more dead than alive, the fearsome Bloodbor…”
“When you’re the head of the largest clothing manufacturing stores in all of Kelesh you have a little pull, and when your fiancé is Captain Crowley Van Straith, close to head of the Taldan Imperial Navy, your pull gets increased by a bit., Now Emir, we’re getting you cleaned up, and taking you home, right now. Guards!”
The guards came in and released my chains, and I collapsed to the ground, it’d been a rough couple of weeks since I last had any food, that’s why I was trying to take out her fiancé, a highly wealthy individual whose identity remained secret to me had hired me to take him out.
I was dragged to a water hole, where they allowed me to clean up, and gave me some new clothes, compliments of my sister. I admired myself in the mirror, a sharp pair of artisan’s pants and a red shirt.
“You’ve really outdone yourself with this outfit, my sister. You deserve to run the business, I never really had an eye for clothes, more so for trouble.”
“We’re all very aware of that, talent my brother. Just be glad I was here to bail you out…it’s just like when you were 10 and you tried stealing some candy from the shop. You couldn’t resist telling everyone in town that you were a master thief.”
“Hey, I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those meddling kids.”
“No, even if the Imodae temple junior watchdogs group hadn’t gotten you caught, you would have gotten yourself caught.” Always having to spread your name wherever you go, you should be like us, let your work speak for yourself. That’s all that matters in life, is what you do, not who did it.”
“You have a point, Ali.” I said as I exited the room, and hugged my long lost sister. “I’ll change from this point on, no more Bloodborne, just me, Emir, I’m coming home. “
“I’m so glad to hear that Emir, Father will be so relieved that you’re alive. I won’t tell him about the murdering thing, if you do indeed swear that that is behind you.” And we walked down the prison courtyard towards the gate.
“It is, just seeing you makes me want to forget all the bad things I’ve done the past two years, and start over.”
“That’s good to hear my brother, I love..” And at that moment she was struck in the throat by a crossbow, a piece of parchment saying, No Failures. My sister collapsed to the ground, and I caught her in my arms.
“Ali? Ali? No, this can’t be happening, you can’t be dead, you can’t be! “ And that’s the last thing I remember from that moment, I blacked out, not even in a murderous sea of red like usual, I died too that day, that was the second death of Emir Zavala.
I remember the funeral, back in Kelesh, my Father couldn’t even look me in the eyes, he’d already lost my mother it seems to the Desert Sickness, as it was called, and now this, and he knew right from the start that it was my fault.
Afterwards, at her life celebration, he punched me, right in the jaw, bringing me back to reality for the first time in 48 hours.
“You, you did this…! You killed my baby girl!”
“No, father, it was an assassin!”
“An assassin that killed her because you failed in your job, he snorted. Even in being a murderous thug you’re a failure. I was glad when you left, your mother, and sister, they missed you…but I knew that you were not cut out for this, you were a failure at clothes making, a failure as an assassin, and you got your sister, killed.”
“Father, I …”
“I am not your father…not anymore…my son died out in the desert two years ago, now get out, and never return to Kelesh again….I banish you!
I went back into shock mode, and started walking away from the town’s center, and shortly thereafter, out of town, wearing the last outfit my sister had given to me. And that was the second death of Emir Zavala, and the rebirth of Bloodborne.
Chapter 2-The Path of Revenge Leads To an Unexpected Reuniting
I returned to Kaladay, and put on my black and red robes of Bloodborne once more. I would find my sister’s killer if it was the last thing I do. In the plays, this would be the part where the murderer reveals himself, to speed up Act II to make for an exciting conclusion. But this not being a simple story, I spent weeks, than months in Kaladay, and the surrounding areas talking to all my underworld contacts, not even a slight lead as to who hired me in the first place, let alone who shot an arrow through my sister’s heart.
Despondent, I took up drinking far more than I ever should have, and found myself more frequently than not, going from bar to bar, until one day I walked into the Parched Parchment, one of the newer bars in Kaladay, it must have been, because I hadn’t been banned from that bar yet. And it was in that bar that I saw another face from my past, and one that would change my future forever. It was the slave girl I’d freed in my first act as Bloodborne a couple of years ago, now a beautiful woman, with these piercing blue eyes that she definitely did not have last time. I think she recognized me first, because she leapt over the bar, and gave me a hug that nearly crushed me, which was surprising from her small frame, the girl had some strength to her.
“It’s you, I can’t believe it’s really you…Bloodborne lives!”
“It is, and I do.” I felt the slightest bit alive again, well better than I had been in months. A year maybe, you don’t keep track of time when you’re in grief.
“I don’t believe I managed to get your name when I last saw you, granted I was in a bit of a rush to leave.”
“Kara, my name is Kara”
“That is a lovely name, lovelier than I’ve heard in quite some time.” I was still in awestruck by her beauty, purple hair, like she had dipped her hair into the sweetest of grape wines. And the blue eyes, which were definitely not there last time but this was the same girl.
“Your eyes, they are absolutely gorgeous.”
“Thank you, they aren’t anything special in reality, I got these false lenses put in, when I dyed my hair, you know, to give myself a fresh start in this city.”
“Well the new look looks amazing on you, Bloodborne definitely approves.”
“Did you just refer to yourself in the third person?”
“I….did. I’m slipping up, I’m sorry….it hasn’t been the best of years for me.”
“I do believe you could use a drink.”
“Yes, yes I do.” And from there she went back behind the empty bar, and poured me a tall glass of mead, and I told her my story.
Chapter 3- A New Chance at Life
The moment I walked into that bar, it was the start of a whole new life for me, I still spent my nights searching for my sister’s killer, but my days spent with Kara were another story entirely. I wasn’t Emir any longer though, I took the name of my sister’s fiancé, Crowley as a way to make myself be a better man than Emir, or Bloodborne ever could have been. I tended the bar with her, and we built a nice life for ourselves.
Occasionally my dreams would be visited by Szuriel, nightmares really, her threatening to destroy my life a third time, this was not what she brought me back for all of that, but at that point I didn’t care, not anymore. Emir was dead, Crowley was just getting started.
We were in the market place one day, before the bar opened up when we came across a vendor selling exotic animals. And she saw this small monkey, and instantly fell in love with it.
“Awww, look at the cute little monkey!”
“He’s ok, I suppose, nothing special.”
“You take that back Crowley Bloodborne!, this is the cutest monkey ever, and we are taking him home with us!”
“What. I thought you said no pets before.”
“I meant nothing common, those get boring…but this guy, he’s something special.”
“Hmmm…fine, how much for the monkey?” I asked the vendor.
“Three platinum pieces.” Said the Dwarven Vendor.
“Three platinum…are you serious?”
“Yup, well it’s not like you can just walk down the street and get yourself a monkey here in Kaladay now can you?”
“Nope, you sure can’t.” Kara said, looking at me with those eyes, knowing I’d give in at this point.
“Fine, we’ll get the monkey.”
I handed the dwarf the three platinum pieces, and he unlocked the cage. The monkey leapt directly onto my shoulders, and started pulling on my hair.
“Ow, what the…Kara you better calm your monkey!”
“Aww…he likes you.”
“Stupid monkey…I mean…it’s okay buddy, we’ve got you now.”
“What should we call him?”
“How about Kong?” Taking a name of a large ape from a story I’d read about in my childhood in Kelesh.
“I love it, Crowley Bloodborne, you just met your new best friend.”
“Maybe, well after you of course.” And I leaned in to kiss her and Kong climbed down and got in my face, and I kissed the monkey instead.
The months turned into almost two years that I was there, still no word on the murderer, and I don’t want to say that I didn’t care at that point, but I was happy. Me, Kara, and Kong there became a happy family, and not too long after, we got married, in a beautiful ceremony. Well, mostly beautiful, except for while I was getting ready, a familiar sound from my nightmares had returned behind me.
“Szuriel, so nice to see you. I’m sorry I forgot to send out the crow for your invite, you probably would have just eaten the crow anyway.”
“You mock me, my champion? You dare mock the almighty Angel Szuriel, Horseman of the Apocalypse, and Bringer of War?!” As she said that her eyes went blacker than I’d ever seen them, even in my time in Abaddon as a boy.
“I’m not your champion anymore, I’m just a guy now. Trying to live a normal, simple life. That extra stuff, wanting a legacy, doing your bidding, got my sister killed.”
“A small price to pay in the big picture.” Szuriel said, and smiled, showing her raggedy teeth.
“The big picture? Things might have been different if you just told me who killed her, and brought him to me so I can flay him alive. “
“Your vengeance is not my priority.”
“And this is why I’m not doing this anymore, I’m not going to get anyone else I care about killed.”
“Oh, you just wait and see about that one…Crowley Bloodborne…you will see.”
And with that, she vanished, and I thought that was going to be the end of it, and I could live a normal life. As with anything when you make deals with demons, angels even, it’s never over though. Other than that little incident though, the ceremony went off without a hitch. Her idea of Kong being the ring bearer was a great touch. And then as in usual stories, we got married, and then a year later, a child was born. A girl, which I named Ali after my sister, one way I could honor her memory. Well that and not be a murderous asshole anymore, but mostly the naming my daughter after her thing. Everything was coming up Bloodbornes at least until one day two years after the wedding.
Chapter 4: It Hits the Fan
“Misster Bloodborne, as I live and breathe!” I heard the voice when I walked into our bar to find Kara tied up by a big Goblin I used to know called Crushem, since that what he liked to do to his victim’s skulls. And I recognized the voice as Mr. Stitch, a Kobold mercenary I used to do business with.
“And here I thought you were…Deceassssed.” He liked to use words that allowed him to hiss when he talked, he thought it was more menacing to make up for his diminutive stature, being only a foot tall lizard creature, also why he worked with the goblin.
“In a sense I was lizard, I’m done doing dirty work for whoever has a few sacks of gold.”
“I am not a lizard, I am a Kobold, and proud of it! Don’t think you can jussst walk away from this life, you know who really paysssss ussss!
“Szuriel, I should have figured. Why can’t the almighty horseman just come down hersssself, and talk to me?” I said, throwing in a few extra ess sounds to pissss off Mr. Stitch.
Mr. Stitch growled, “The lady hassss more important things to do than deal with employees who don’t live up to their end of the bargain.” “Do you think you were her firssssst champion?”
“Well I gave that up, I told her that. It’s not like she helped me find my sister’s killer.”
“That’sssss not her priority. Vengeance is not chaos, learn the differenssse…and love it. Now, Crowley…you’re calling yourssself thessse daysss? You will come with us. We already have your child, she’ll make a fine sssacrifice to our dark angel, now won’t she!”
“You touch her and I’ll…”Kong started to scream and throw his feces at Mr. Stitch, and I couldn’t help but laugh.
“You little shit…I will sssnap that monkey’s neck and eat it for dinner.”
“What, not a ssssnack?” I replied back, and then my amazing wife managed to untie herself from the ropes, which is what she signaled me to ssstall…dammit, he’s got me doing it now, stall the two demonically hired rent a thugs while she could do that. She smashed the chair over Crushem’s head, and then Kong had leapt off my shoulder and grabbed Mr. Stitch by the throat.
“Hey…..*cough* C’mon Crowley, I’m sure we can make a deal here.”
“Yeah now you want to make a deal, that’s jussst what I thought Stitch…ya jackass.”
“You can tell Szuriel that she can stay in hell for all I care, I’m out, and I’m done with this. Matter of fact, you can tell her yourself. Kong…finish him!”
“Wait Crowley, you can’t….we don’t even have your daughter. C’mon sspare m..”
And with that Kong had snapped the neck of the diminutive dumbass of a thug.
Kara ran over to me and kissed me deeply.
“I’m so proud of you baby, and you gave up that life. You don’t need vengeance anymore, you have us now.”
“Yeah, you’re right, and that’s all I need.” I kissed her again, for what would be the last time, as a shadowy claw ripped through Kara Bloodborne at that point.
She fell, and a large shadow demon stood where she was standing, and a bit above where she was standing, this thing was huge. It opened where a mouth would normally be, on a non-shadow creature, and spoke in a dark and deep voice.
“Like we told you Crowley…no failures.”
“Grrraahh!” I screamed and slashed at the shadow demon, but being incorporeal, it did nothing.
“Szurieeeelll!” I will destroy you, personally!
“Szuriel….you think we work for her? Our master is so much more powerful than she ever was, or will be. We do have your daughter, that will make up for our investment in you, feel free to go back to your “normal life” at this point. Don’t bother trying to find us, you won’t see us again.”
I screamed again, and then I ran upstairs to our home above the bar, searching it for Ali, but she was gone. These things whoever they are destroyed my life, again. I went back downstairs, and found Kong pulling on Kara’s hair, trying to wake her up, but she was gone. I picked Kong up.
“I know buddy, she’s gone now. I will find those bastards that did this, and I will make them pay, one way, or another they will pay. I picked up my wife’s body, and laid her upstairs in our bed. I kissed her one final time, and then I picked up her blue contacts that were in her box on the shelf, and put them in my own eyes, one last thing to remember her by. I started to douse the place in torch oil, to give her a fitting send off, and as the last bit of good that was ever in me burned away. I took Kong, and we walked out the door, and out of Kaladay, forever.
I was back in Abaddon again in my dreams, but this time, it was not a nightmare. I kneeled before Szuriel on her throne.
“I apologize for doubting you before, milady. And for disrespecting you. You returned me from the dead when I was a boy to spread chaos, not to live a normal life with a family. I will honor that, but I will have my vengeance against whomever it was that destroyed my life.”
“And as long as your spread chaos on your way while you attain your vengeance you are more than welcome to kill every person on the planet if you have to.”
“And I will if I have to, Lady Szuriel, I am your champion.”
“Excellent.” She smiled her raggedy smile. “I’ll be in touch with you.”
EPILOGUE 2-6 Months Later
I returned to Kaladay one last time, using a disguise kit I’d acquired recently, as far as this town knows, I died in that fire with Kara. I normally would never go back here again, but there’s a ship here that I need to take, to start step 2 of The Legend Of Crowley Bloodborne. I walked over to the ship, the Black Dragon, and walked onboard, and walked over to the Captain, Captain Skull. And yes, before you ask, that was his name, he wasn’t the most clever of pirates ever.
“Excuse me good sir, I would like to purchase this vessel.”
Captain Skull looked at me and laughed. “This vessel is not for sale, and surely not to a four eyed desert rat like yourself. Stick to your own kind, landlubber.”
“Desert rat? I’m assuming you mean my darker complexion, then yes, I was from there…but now the sea calls my name, and I will have this vessel!”
“Over my dead body.”
“If that’s what you wish”, and I stabbed him with my father’s dagger.
The crew looked astonished, and was ready to draw their weapons, but then I pulled the rapier from the Captain’s belt, and held it aloft. While also removing the stage makeup I had on.
“Crew of the Black Dragon, this ship is now under the property of Captain Crowley Bloodborne! Do you have any objections to this? For if you do, you can discuss your issues with me just like I did with your former Captain Skull over here!
“No, sir!” The crew shouted.
“That’s what I like to hear, alright boys, set sail, got some vengeance to dish out, some chaos to spread, and a world to tell of the legend of Crowley Bloodborne! And so the legend begins….